Thirty-eight state and territorial attorneys general recently sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting that it update its Telemarketing Sales Rules to help further protect against telemarketing fraud and abuse.
While the state attorneys general support existing Telemarketing Sales Rules, the group listed a number of concerns, including:
- An increase in the number of fraud complaints from consumers who are contacted by telephone;
- The pervasiveness of media solicitations and advertisements that has resulted in an increase in calls from consumers to telemarketers, for which there are insufficient consumer disclosures required;
- The use of certain novel payment methods that allow retrieval of funds with little meaningful scrutiny of the recipient’s identity; and
- Telemarketers’ use of consumers’ debit and credit card account information obtained prior to telemarketing sales calls.
According to recent statistics by the FTC, in fiscal year 2013, more than 3.7 million telemarketing complaints were filed with the Commission. Telemarketing complaints also rank among the top five complaint categories received from citizens in many states.
Ultimately, it will be job of the FTC to draft the final rules.
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